Mila Kunis is not staying quiet. She’s not backing down. She’s not compromising. Not anymore. The Bad Moms star penned a strong and lengthy open letter in A Plus magazine detailing sexism she’s experienced in the entertainment industry.
“Throughout my career, there have been moments when I have been insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender,” she wrote. “And always, I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; maybe they knew more, maybe they had more experience, maybe there was something I was missing. I taught myself that to succeed as a woman in this industry I had to play by the rules of the boy’s club. But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it’s (expletive)! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.”
Kunis went into detail on two specific experiences of sexism in her career. In the first, a male producer threatened that she would “never work in this town again” if she did not pose semi-nude on the the cover of a men’s magazine to promote a film.
“I was livid, I felt objectified, and for the first time in my career I said ‘no,'” the actor explained. “And guess what? The world didn’t end. The film made a lot of money and I did work in this town again, and again, and again. What this producer may never realize is that he spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace.”
Kunis eventually created her own “club,” founding a production company to pursue her own project. But even within that space, Kunis had a similar experience, when a different male producer sent an email referring to Kunis as Ashton Kutcher’s “wife and baby momma!!!”
“He reduced my value to nothing more than my relationship to a successful man and my ability to bear children. It ignored my (and my team’s) significant creative and logistical contributions,” she wrote. “We withdrew our involvement in the project.”
“If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere,” Kunis continued in the letter. “I am fortunate that I have reached a place that I can stop compromising and stand my ground, without fearing how I will put food on my table. I am also fortunate that I have the platform to talk about this experience in the hope of bringing one more voice to the conversation so that women in the workplace feel a little less alone and more able to push back for themselves.”
She ended with strong words for that original male producer. “I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you.”
Read the full letter here.